How to Sew a Slip Stitch

What would be a world without sewing machines? Perfect, but the fact of sewing some things with a needle and thread alone outshines the devices. When sewing things that you don’t want the stitches to show, slip stitching will do the magic. Like when stitching a hem or buttonholes.

Are you looking for a stitching technique that will hide all the stitches of your garment? You won’t go wrong with this. As you sew the slip at the edge of your fabric, it will be entirely invisible. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to do it.

How to Sew a Slip Stitch?

Tie the thread. Drive the needle to the seam allowance at the continuation point of the seam. For another seam allowance, drive the needle. Insert it directly and across the seam. The stitching will now connect. Pull the thread for a more-firm connection. Also, make it tight so that it doesn’t crowd in one place.

How to Sew a Slip Stitch by Hand?

You can also call it a ladder or an invisible ladder stitch. You hand-sew a slip to close stitching. At the end of it all, ensure the stitch isn’t visible, so you have to sew carefully. Follow and comprehend the steps below. It will make your stitching straightforward and prompt. 

Equipment you need

Here is what you should have:

  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Flat iron and ironing table or board
  • Other things you’ll need
  • Matching thread
  • Fabric

Guidelines on sewing a slip stitch are as below.

Step 1: Threading

Threading your needle should be your first step. Fold the thread. It needs to look like you are using two threads—knot at the end of it. Cut the thread below the knot to remain with about 1/4 inch of it.

Step 2: Make the Finishing Ready

Your slip stitch won’t be invisible if you skip this step. How do you do this? First, bring the fabric to slip the stitch. Bend it into the closure so that it touches the seam. Use an iron or your fingers to press it to make an equal fold astride your fabric.

Step 3: Stash the Tie

Drive the needle into one of the crimps that are on either side of your closure. Ensure that the needle doesn’t come out to the other side of the fabric. Backtrack it out from that same fold and ensure it heads to the closure’s central point. Besides, make sure that you hide the knot between one of the crimps. So, pull the thread until it’s completely invisible. Follow this step before slip stitching.

Step 4: Begin Slip Stitching

Since your knot isn’t visible now, so start stitching. Insert your needle to the fold opposite of your knot. Drive it out at about 1/4 inch from the insertion point. It could even be less than 1/4 inch from there. Ensure the needle doesn’t touch the outer fabric when stitching. You will complete the first stitch by drawing out the needle and the thread.

Step 5: At the Other Side Now, Sew the Slip Stitch

Follow the same steps mentioned above to sew the slip stitch on the opposite fold.

Step 6: Continue Forming Slip Stitches

You make stitches slip stitches into and out of the folds, keep on doing this. It would help if you did this until you are about to reach the end of the closure on the other side. As you come near the end, the thread moves to and fro the folds creating some ladder lungs. Hence the other name of a slip stitch is ladder stitch.

Step 7: Tie the Thread

You are now nearing the end of your closure. Using your needle, snatch some fabric inside the fold. Jerk the thread through, a little bit. Ensure it doesn’t come out. A bending will form. Use it to come up with your knot. Drive the needle into the bending, then pull it out. You now have your knot. To make your stitching more-steady, create one more knot following this same procedure.

Step 8: It Is Now Time to End the Slip Stitch

Reduce the thread near the loop. You may see your stitches when looking into the closure. It shouldn’t bother you. Seeing the stitches is what makes me recommend using a matching thread. Press the closure the last time to ensure all the stitches now aren’t visible.

How to Slip a Stitch Knitwise

When knitting or purling, insert the needle on your right hand into that on the left-hand side. Follow the right to the left direction or the left to the right direction for this. Then, you can go ahead to slip it. It is also what you do when you slip stitch knitwise. It is known as slipping knitwise or slipping purlwise.

Step 1: Drive the Right Needle to the Stitch

As you insert it, it’s the same as when knit stitching. Clasp the needles as you regularly do. Insert the needle on the right hand to the following stitch on the left. Ensure you shove it in from the left side. Just the same way you usually make knit stitches.

Step 2: Put the Stitch From the Needle on the Left to That on the Right

To slip the stitch to the right-hand needle, push the needle on the right towards the right side. The process is simply the same as when coming up with a regular knit stitch. As you do this, ensure you don’t snatch the thread. Keep on stitching, and you’ll reach the end of your slip stitch.

Step 3: Keep on Taking the Thread

Do slip stitches till the end of the line. However, keep in mind this about knitwise slip stitches. You can see them more clearly than purlwise stitches, and they can make your stitch weighty.

How to Slip a Stitch Purlwise

This method is most common to slip a stitch. You do this from left to right to maintain the direction of the stitch. Typically, you move the stitch to the next needle and keep everything else concerning it.

Step 1: Drive the Needle on Your Right Hand to the Following Stitch.

As you insert the needle, hold them as usual. Now, insert the needle on the right into the following stitch. When structuring this stitch, it will be different from a knit stitch. How do you set it up? From the right side, directly slip it into the stitch. It should form a bending onto the needle.

Step 2: Insert the Stitch Upon the Right Needle.

Pull the needle on the right hand to the right. It will slide the thread bending over it. Ensure you do this gently because you require only a little effort.

Step 3: Continue Sliding the Stitches Upon the Needle on the Right.

Keep on twisting the next stitch upon the needle on the right hand. As you do this, drag it directly. Carry on with the slip stitch up to where you want, or where the pattern reaches. You can quickly do purlwise stitching than knitwise stitching.

What Is a Slip Stitch?

It is a loop stitch that connects two layers. It does this, ensuring that the layers won’t be visible from outside the fabric. Also, it is the smallest embroidery stitch. It’s crucial when moving thread past the seam. As you do this, ensure the stitching isn’t extensive. The method is more of hand sewing rather than stitching.

Slipping Knitwise vs Slipping Purlwise

It is more common to slip a stitch purlwise. If the pattern you follow when stitching doesn’t specify the method you should use, go for slipping purlwise. When doing knitwise, twirl the stitch, attach it in front of the needle. Don’t use the right leg when you are making the stitch knitwise.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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